The impact of connectivity to dramatic changes in the dynamics of the industry itself, consumer goods companies are struggling with how to build and grow relationships with their suppliers, distributors, and ultimately their end customers.
Smartphones, tablets and other mobile, cloud-connected devices have forever changed communication, access and relationship development. Distributors & Retailers are improving collaboration with manufacturers, and are able to provide cleaner point-of-sale (POS) data. CG company employees and experts can all be connected to the information available about a retailer, their products, and inventory, so that the company has a true 360° view of its customers. And companies can now use social media and communities to build relationships with their end consumers.
The CG industry in turn is going through massive transformation. Existing home and mature markets are not growing fast or stabilizing. Industry growth is coming from new brands and new categories, putting pressure on manufacturers to on-board people, processes, and technology in these areas faster. Distribution is changing as well, with larger chains swallowing up smaller ones, store concepts changing and eCommerce growing in relevance. And CG companies are no longer concerned only with shelf space, but with distributor mindshare as well distributor power is growing, and influencing distributor reps is critical
We’ve had the opportunity to work with many CG leaders who have had the foresight to transform their businesses before they get left behind. What they have accomplished tends to fall into three primary buckets:
- Mobile-enable salespeople to enhance retail execution
- Use technology to build better relationships
- Improve access to legacy systems through a system of engagement